2017-2018 Graduate Academic Catalog

An Introduction to Lesley

In 1909, Edith Lesley had a vision of an institution that would prepare young women to enter early childhood careers as leaders and catalysts for change. Along with educational opportunity and professional advancement, she and they wanted to serve and transform society.  Today, Edith Lesley’s founding vision anchors the University’s commitment to quality, innovation, responsiveness, service to students, and positive social change. There is an institution-wide commitment to academic and artistic excellence, flexibility, innovation, and responsiveness focused on supporting individual student learning and success. An entrepreneurial spirit, deeply rooted in our mission, enables faculty and staff to identify emerging needs and opportunities and meet them with relevant, high quality program offerings and approaches. 


Teaching and learning can take many forms at Lesley, but a hallmark is active engagement with real-world applications that integrate theory and practice. We are a community focused on educating, engaging, and empowering our students to develop the knowledge and skills they need to reach their goals and lead examined, productive, and satisfying lives. A Lesley University education provides the academic foundation and the practical experience to equip students to become leaders in their chosen professions.

 A Lesley University education fosters the qualities of critical thinking and compassion essential in teaching, care giving, counseling, and initiating constructive change. This commitment to the value-added dimension of service unites successive generations of Lesley University students and graduates. 

Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences

The programs of the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences - Counseling and Psychology, Expressive Therapies, International Higher Education and Intercultural Relations, Mindfulness, Global Interdisciplinary Studies, and the MFA in Creative Writing – are at the forefront of their fields, with reputations achieved by the quality of the programs and the professional accomplishments of the faculty. The arts and social sciences form the basis of investigating the human condition and informing professional practice. Students, faculty, and graduates are continually engaged in developing new programs and redefining their professional fields to meet emerging needs in a swiftly changing social, political, and economic environment.

Graduate School of Education

The Graduate School of Education is marked by its commitment to education reform, action-oriented research, and its philosophy of providing lifelong learning for educators. With nationally recognized programs in early childhood, elementary, middle, and high school education; special education; literacy and language arts; creative arts in learning; and technology in education, Lesley is a major source of teachers and other educational personnel for schools across the country. The Graduate School of Education’s goal is to expand its leadership in the public policy arena and continue to develop new ways to work collaboratively with schools and districts to enhance learning for all children.

College of Art and Design

The College of Art and Design at Lesley University is a professional visual arts college (founded in 1912) dedicated to providing students with fundamental skills and an outstanding education. College of Art and Design students prepare for careers in Design, Illustration, Animation, Fine Arts, and Photography, and combined majors through studio-intensive visual arts programs taught by highly regarded professionals in each of these fields. The College of Art and Design offers Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts programs. For more information refer to the Lesley University Undergraduate Catalog. 

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences traces its roots to the original founding of Lesley in 1909. The College offers a cosmopolitan, residential college experience combining a strong foundation in the liberal arts with professional coursework and practical internship experience. The small college experience is broadened by the resources and opportunities of the larger university such as accelerated bachelor’s/master’s programs and opportunities for cross-registration with The College of Art and Design and other schools of the University. For more information refer to the Lesley University Undergraduate Catalog.